Document 1388

Conversation 27: Mother and daughter from Ayrshire and man from USA, part 1/3 - memories, fashions and traditions

Author(s): N/A

Copyright holder(s): SCOTS Project, Dr Margaret Scott

Audio transcription

M964 So last night, someone used a term I hadn't heard before, which was 'casuals'. And er and //[?]could you[/?]//
F965 //They're sort of hooligans, aren't they?//
M964 It was along that line, and I I hadn't heard that term before.
F963 Was it was is 'casual' or 'casuals'?
M964 Casuals.
F965 Who call them casuals?
F963 Ayr casuals. //That's//
M964 //Yeah.//
F963 that's how I've often heard it.
F965 D- were they about when you were wee?
F963 Er, when I was in secondary school, people used to talk about having a run in with the casuals, in Ayr.
F965 I thought they were a little bit like a version of the Mods of old times, you know the, they wore a kind of, they all wore the same thing.
F963 Yeah, uh-huh. They were kind of, as I understood it, they were kind of fairly smartly dressed //kind of club type, sort of "wine bar-y" [laugh]//
F965 //That's what I thought too, yes, yes,// //yes, because the Mods//
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 //almost [laugh].//
F965 the Mods were in opposition to the Rockers who were the kind of //greasy guys.//
F963 //Yeah.// Yeah.
F965 And the casuals I thought were kind of, you know, th- they were very concerned about what they wear.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And it would be things like erm, well designer, you know, these things with the crocodiles on them. //[laugh]//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Oh right. [laugh] Lacoste?// //[laugh]//
F965 //Yeah.// //[laugh] Yeah.//
F963 //Pringle, things like that?//
F965 I think that's that's, I'd forgotten about casuals.
M964 Mm
F965 //What did the- is this something recent?//
F963 //Well, the- they were//
M964 Well I was kind of wondering what the what the era of it was too, and //it made me think of the Mods and Rockers for that, and what you were saying before about//
F963 //Mm, mmhm, [inaudible]//
F965 They would be in your day? //Mm, mmhm.//
F963 //Yeah, I remember the term, yeah.// But they were kind of opposite to the people that were in to rock music //and went to other venues, so it was kind of like a split between the two.//
F965 //Right, it's almost the same. Yeah. Mmhm, mmhm.//
F963 But what was it like in your day?
F965 Erm, well, Mods and Rockers were a wee bit late for me, //really, ish.//
F963 //Mm mmhm// //But you had teddy boys?//
F965 //Erm,// well, the the the teddy boys here were the boys who hadn't stayed at school, //you know they were the kind of//
F963 //Mm//
F965 the kids that had gone out to work. And, I don't know if they spent an awful lot of money on their clothes, but they certainly had //their//
F963 //Mm//
F965 clothes were very central.
F963 But there was still kind of a like a sort of dress code, //kind of thing?//
F965 //Oh yeah.// //And they had their hair//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 like Elvis.
F963 Mmhm //The quiff an//
F965 //They always had their hair like Elvis.// //I suppose there were//
F963 //stuff, yeah.//
F965 some sticking up ones, you know, like more modern looking ones. But the the look was very erm rock and roll.
F963 Mmhm mmhm //Brothel-creepers//
F965 //[tut] And//
F963 for shoes? //Yeah? Mm//
F965 //Yeah, thick-sole, crêpe-sole shoes, usually.// Er, we didn't have a lot of teddy-boys here.
F963 Mm //Mm//
F965 //But the- they tended to be thought of as as kind of dangerous.// //And a wee bit//
F963 //Right, uh-huh//
F965 erm, not respectable.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 And they talked about teddy-girls,
F963 Mm //I haven't heard of that before, yeah.//
F965 //which was funny but that that was their girlfriends.// //The teddy-girls//
F963 //Right.// //Hung out with the teddy-boys.//
F965 //were their girlfriends.// But I think I think it was a relatively, you know, quite a broad term for a teddy-boy's girlfriend, but //they would wear, [laugh] like//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 tight skirts or s- very sticky-out skirts.
F963 Oh sort of fifties //kind of classic style, yeah.//
F965 //Yes, yes, well it was a fifties thing// //more than anything.//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 I don't think they lasted, I think I think people like John Lennon probably went through a teddy-boy phase. //And I I suppose the arty, the art school people might have taken it up, but they were more kind of beatnik.//
M964 //[inaudible]//
F963 //Mm mm.// Mm mmhm. Did you hang out with that crowd when you were in Glasgow?
F965 Oh no, by the time I went to Glasgow, I don't think there were any teddy-boys.
F963 What about the sort of art school crowd, cause that's, //they all seem to have their own sort of nightlife, or their own//
F965 //Yeah. They all looked like Jesus.// //They all had long hair and be-, all the men//
F963 //[laugh]//
M964 //[laugh]//
F965 //had beards.//
F963 Mmhm
F965 And I liked that look.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 [tut] Erm, what can I say?
M964 But but, I mean one of the things I was curious about is that this seems almost like there is an odd sort of continuity, from the teddy-boys, Mods, Rockers, erm,
F965 That division, //yes.//
M964 //Right.// And what was the opposite of, what what what would you have called the opposite of the erm //of the casuals?//
F965 //Sort of bikers.//
M964 Bikers, [?]end of thing[/?], or?
F963 Sort o rock fans was often the //often the term, you know, but//
F965 //Heavy metal// //the the heidbangers.//
F963 //they were into, yeah, uh-huh.// Well like like I was telling you earlier on, you know, the Pavilion, when I knew it in sort of early nineties, used to be a great rock venue. It was really famous for that. And then they started having raves there.
F965 Mmhm
F963 And then lots of people took lots of ecstasy and then died. [laugh] //So//
F965 //Mmhm// Stopped doing that.
F963 that was the end of that. //Now it's closed the whole thing.//
F965 //Now it's Pirate Pete's [inaudible].// //[laugh] Children's.//
F963 //You know, the the//
F965 Children's entertainment.
M964 //[inaudible]//
F963 //Punished the rock fans just as much by shutting the whole venue down, that was the end// //of that.//
F965 //That's// par for the course, of which. //But you're right, there's a kind of a two-lane highway,//
F963 //Frustrated a lot of people as well.//
M964 //Yeah.//
F965 //of// the people who, what about the indie band people, wh- where did they fall in?
F963 Alternative. //Yeah.//
F965 //Yeah, but where did they come// in between the the heidbangers and the casuals?
M964 //What is?//
F963 //They// usually ally themselves with the with the rockers.
F965 Uh-huh
F963 They were, at least they were closer to each other in //culture.//
F965 //I remember//
M964 Mm
F965 I remember Martha; she was a Mod.
F963 Mm
F965 She was known as the Mad //Mod, locally.//
F963 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F965 //And she had come up// er from Nottingham.
F963 Mmhm
F965 So she had all the the you know, the sort of, kind of, sort of very sophisticated //English//
F963 //Mmhm// //Was the family not Scottish?//
F965 //things.// //Oh yeah.//
F963 //I thought they were.// //Ah//
F965 //Yeah.// But they had come - they'd moved to Nottingham - //but they//
F963 //Mm//
F965 came up, and sh- when she came back to Prestwick she was very very exotic.
F963 Mm mm
F965 She was more Mod than any Mod //here,//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 and had to initiate them, in her ways.
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 //Oh right.// //So were her fashions more marked//
F965 //And [laugh]// //Oh yes, i- i-//
M964 //[cough]//
F963 //then, she was more, how how did that appear?//
F965 all, the most radical movements at that time definitely came from the South.
F963 Mm
F965 And from here Nottingham is South.
F963 Mmhm //Yeah.//
F965 //Although,// you know, as far as a Londoner was concerned, that would be the sticks. But they, they definitely had all the rock and roll and all the everything else coming from down there, //you know?//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 And when she came up here she was so Mod it was terrifying. //[tut]//
F963 //Oh right.// //[laugh]//
F965 //And [laugh]// hairdressers became terribly, you know, big cultural icons. //In the sixties, yes, hairdressers and photographers.//
M964 //Really?//
F963 //Mm// //Oh right, Lord Li- Lichfield and people that were sort of mm,//
F965 //And I remember she used to, how you had your hair//
F963 mmhm
F965 was crucial to how you looked in this //Mod or Rocker thing.//
F963 //Mm// Mmhm
F965 Well she had a really really really Mod haircut. //And Mod clothes.//
F963 //What was that like then?// //[?]Should remember what these are[/?]//
F965 //It was, I think it at that time very// very so- bob, short bob.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 Everything about them was very carefully contrived.
F963 Mm mmhm
F965 There was nothing ca- nothing casual. //There was//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 nothing sloppy about the way //they//
F963 //See when I// think of Mods, I think of, you know, people wearing parkas, on mopeds, //and listening to//
F965 //Mm//
F963 ska music. //It's a more kind of seventies version of what a Mod was,//
F965 //Mm, that was later, that was later.//
F963 so
F965 But I remember her saying, her, she was only a young girl, //I remember her//
F963 //Mm//
F965 absolutely epitomising this young thinking, which was to ask you the question, are you a Mod, or are you a Rocker?
F963 Mm
M964 Right.
F965 Because there's neither, you know, if you're not one of those, there's nothing else you can be.
F963 Right. //Nothing in between.//
M964 //And Ringo's very famous response to that, which is that "I'm sort of a Mocker".//
F965 //Ah, very good, I never heard that one.//
F963 //[inaudible]//
F965 [inhale] It must have been asked all over the place then. //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 But, I remember, even at my, you know, I'm sort of eight years older than her, and I remember thinking, "Gosh, that", you know, "that is a very young person's black and white //definition".//
F963 //Mm right.// //Which tribe are you?//
F965 //"You're not// for me; you're against me."
F963 Yeah.
F965 You know, you're, if you're not a Mod you must be a Rocker.
F963 Mmhm //Mmhm, mm, mmhm//
F965 //If you're not a Rocker, you must be a Mod. It was quite, quite an early revelation for me.//
F963 How did people tend to divide up into those groups? Was there anything that you could say that would make one person more likely to be a Mod?
F965 No. //Don't think so.//
F963 //Was it just entirely taste?//
F965 I think if you were erm, middle class and still at school,
F963 Mm
F965 you might lean towards Mod, I don't know. //But they used to have, when was, I'd forgotten this.//
F963 //Mm, mm.//
F965 They used to have pitched battles!
F963 Oh! //Here?//
F965 //Did you [?]not[/?]// //No not//
M964 //Yeah.//
F965 here,
F963 Mm //[laugh]//
F965 //as far as I know.//
M964 Well in Brighton, I think //was the famous [inaudible]//
F965 //Brighton. They used to go//
F963 //Oh yeah, no I have heard of that.// //Uh-huh. Yeah.//
F965 //an converge.// So, I mean, although I'm saying that Mods tended to be more sort of correct looking,
F963 Uh-huh
F965 you know, sort of, almost boringly dressed,
F963 Yeah, yeah.
F965 er, and Rockers were very in yer face, you know, erm, and what could be poncier than riding a scooter? //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F965 //But erm, although they were so kind of [laugh] [inaudible] looking,// they went, they assembled for these huge fights, //and terrorised the locals.//
F963 //Aye.// Right, uh-huh yeah.
F965 And I had totally forgotten about that until I heard a programme about //it a wee while ago.//
F963 //Mm mmhm, no I think// I think I have seen something on the TV //about that.//
F965 //Aye, they were saying, you know,// you think this youth, vi- violent youth culture //is just happening, and it was actually very serious.//
F963 //Mm yeah.//
M964 Was there an aspect of, about music involved in this, cause it always seems like, //through that continuum we're we're describing there seem to be two different kinds of music//
F965 //It-//
M964 //and two different ways of enjoying it,//
F963 //Yeah.// //Yeah, yeah.//
M964 //and maybe two different drug cultures associated with those two things.// Or would you have said that was true, all the way back //in that continuum, or?//
F965 //Yes.// //And yet, I never quite twigged to it, because I grew up with rock and roll,//
F963 //Mm// //Mmhm//
M964 //Mm//
F965 [tut] and it all so- you know some stuff sounded better than others to me, but people like Rod Stewart was a Mod. //He had Mod following.//
F963 //Hm// Uh-huh
F965 Er, people like th- the Faces, you know, they were really Mod, Mod bon- bonds? [laugh] Mod bands, as far as I remember.
F963 Mm
F965 Because remember this was this was all a culture that I didn't belong to; //it was too late for me.//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Right, uh-huh// What, what were you? [laugh] //Were you anything in particular?//
F965 //I loved rock and roll.// //We di- I didn't dress for rock and roll.//
M964 //[cough]//
F963 Right, uh-huh.
F965 It was, it became a, h- it also became an enormous industry. //After//
M964 //Mmhm//
F963 //Mmhm//
F965 the sixties, //or during the sixties I suppose.//
F963 //Mmhm, yeah.// I suppose you kind of went, like you were saying about listening to things like the Laughing Policeman, and sort of going from that into //like your music.//
F965 //Well that was on, yeah.// //That was on on the mainstream radio.//
F963 //[laugh]// Mm mmhm
F965 I- they presented you with what they thought was good for you.
F963 Mm //Mm mm.//
F965 //You know, you got the Light Programme,//
M964 Mm
F965 [tut] which would be erm i-i- it got a little bit better as I, just as I was in my teens, that they began to acknowledge that there was, you know, there was young music.
F963 Where was that broadcast from?
F965 London.
F963 Right. Uh-huh
F965 Mostly. I think they had s-, they had studios in the north of England, and they prob- probably had a Scottish studio; I don't remember. Mm. But, erm, yeah they must have done because we got Scottish country dance music
F963 Mm
F965 played on it, so there must have been a Scottish eh version of the the Light Programme. But the Light Programme played a lot of music. And then when they started, erm, well actually before they started using pirate radio,
F963 Like Radio Luxembourg?
F965 No, Luxembourg wasn't a pirate, //Luxembourg just broadcast.//
F963 //Oh right, or Caroline?// //Was Caroline though, one of these on a boat?//
F965 //Yeah, they had pirate// //radios out on ships, outside of the jurisdiction limit, presumably.//
F963 //Uh-huh, mm, mm.//
F965 And erm, cause they were all licensed. [?]Do you[/?] need a licence to broadcast. And erm, we used to get Radio Luxembourg, which broadcast in whatever they talk, Luxemburgish?
F963 Mm
F965 Is it that what they call it? //Luxemburgish.//
M964 //Luxemburgish. Occasionally the [?]"luxembourgeoisique"[/?]// //[inaudible]//
F965 //Right. [laugh]// Well it broadcast, I think, all day, //in Luxemburgish,//
F963 //Mmhm//
F965 and then, at the very end of the of the English-speaking programmes, there would be this voice speaking in in Luxemburgish; it sounded like German. //[?]Hier ist[/?] Radio Luxembourg.//
M964 //It's it's German, German with a [inaudible]//
F963 //Mm//
M964 Well, it's German with a French [?]sauce[/?].
F965 Right.
F963 Yeah.
F965 And they would close down the programme in that language. But for the for the duration of the evening, from about six something, maybe six, it was all English-speaking programmes. And a lot of them were American imports, //like "Perry Mason",//
F963 //Mm mmhm.//
F965 lawyer detective and his faithful secretary, Della Street. And you got advert-, you know, it was it was sponsored. So you got erm advertising jingles that I had never heard //before,//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Oh// Mmhm
F965 erm, till ITV came on.
F963 Mm
F965 Th- Penguin biscuits sponsored a programme, //and they had a//
F963 //Oh//
F965 club,
F963 Mmhm. //[laugh]//
F965 //that you could join,// //and be one of the penguin parade or whatever it was called, and erm,//
F963 //[laugh]//
M964 //[cough]//
F965 //the best of it was that late at night you got erm Decca,// //had a programme,//
F963 //Mm mmhm//
F965 and Capitol Records, and, you know, you got these records that you really had no way of hearing,
F963 Mm //Right. uh-huh.//
F965 //except on Radio Luxembourg.//
F963 When did they start being available to you, you know, things that you //[?]could go up[/?] and buy?//
F965 //Oh you could buy the records.// //Oh you could buy the records.//
F963 //Oh it was available// //somewhere, yeah?//
F965 //Yeah.// But they were playing records that they didn't play on the Light Programme. //They were playing Little Richard,//
F963 //Mm, right. Mmhm.//
F965 and erm a lot of things, Fats Domino, things that you would not hear on the mainstream radio.
F963 Mm mmhm.
F965 But then when you went out to the record shop you could buy it. //But you heard it on Radio Luxembourg.//
F963 //Right. Yeah. Mmhm uh-huh.// //You got the exposure there, so mmhm.//
F965 //Mmhm mmhm.// Hm
M964 Separate question, that involves Christmas.
F965 Mmhm
M964 Um, in your, in your life, did the diff- did the different things that you eat at Christmas change, for example, at one point was it more common to have one particular dish. And then gradually it's become something else?
F965 [tut] I think in Scotland, traditionally, a lot of people would still have a chicken, for Christmas dinner, when I was very young,
F963 Mm mmhm.
F965 because a chicken was a wee bit of a luxury still,
F963 Mmhm
F965 erm before they started factory farming. //And it got so cheap.//
F963 //When would that be then, roughly?//
F965 Do you know? We always had a turkey.
F963 Mmhm
F965 We always had turkey at Christmas. But I know I'v- from talking to friends a chicken was a big deal to have; //you would have it maybe//
F963 //Mm//
F965 on a Sunday lunch,
F963 Yeah.
F965 and some people still had that as their Christmas dinner probably up until the sixties.
F963 Mmhm mmhm.
F965 And then turkey became almost universal I suppose.
F963 Yeah.
F965 And now turkey's kind of, you know, I don't know,
F963 People are seeming to be getting a bit bored with it. //[inaudible] doing alternative things.//
F965 //[inaudible] think we'll have some goose, goose.// //They want a traditional goose or or beef or something.//
F963 //Mm, mmhm.//
F965 I I don't know. We always had turkey. Er, and we only had it at Christmas.
F963 Mm //Right.//
M964 //Right.//
F965 //That was the only time you ever saw it; you couldn't buy it any other time.//
F963 //Yeah, it was still a treat then. Mm.// Mmhm
F965 And it was a huge treat.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Erm
M964 It was for us for Thanksgiving; that's the same //idea.//
F965 //Yeah.//
M964 But one of the nice things about Thanksgiving is that it was one of these rare meals in which you had a gazillion small plates of things, whether it was //cranberry sauce or things like this.//
F965 //That's exactly right.// //Yes.//
M964 //Did you have things like that, or,// //[inaudible]//
F965 //Eh, accompaniments.// //Yes.//
M964 //Accompaniments, yeah.//
F963 //Mmhm, yeah.//
F965 Yeah, it was a huge //undertaking,//
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Mmhm//
F965 And it was it was erm, //You didn't have the//
F963 //I used to [inaudible] you know, cranberry sauce,// //and things that I didn't really encounter the rest//
F965 //Yeah.// //That's correct. And you didn't have//
F963 //of the year, for some reason, you know. It was always// there at the Christmas dinner.
F965 I mean now you can buy stuff made. //Or you can//
F963 //Mmhm mmhm//
F965 buy it frozen and keep it, you know. But I remember the Christmas being such a palaver, //the Christmas dinner.//
F963 //Mm.// Yeah.
F965 Erm, because it all had to be, it all had to be made.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And it couldn't be made too much in advance, //cause you couldn't//
M964 //Mmhm//
F963 //Right. Yeah.//
F965 store it.
F963 What about the cake? Was that done //ages in advance?//
F965 //Oh!// oh, the Christmas cake! //[laugh] No, Anne used to make it.//
F963 //I seem to remember, di- did Jean not used to make it? She would.// Oh I see, right. //Uh-huh. Yeah.//
F965 //And she was awfully good at making it.// But she was very unpredictable, but when she would produce it,
F963 [laugh]
F965 so you had the wait for the Christmas cake [laugh] that might appear. The icing's still sort of soft //on Christmas Eve, or, she would arrive at two o'clock in the morning//
F963 //[laugh] Mm//
F965 on Christmas Day with it.
F963 Mmhm
F965 But ehm, she used to //make it//
M964 //[cough]//
F965 about October I suppose they would //make it.//
F963 //Mm, I just, sort// //of,//
F965 //Or earlier!//
F963 so saturated with alcohol //that it was indestructible. [laugh]//
F965 //Put alcohol in it, yes. And it was,// it would mature. //It still does.//
F963 //Right.// //Yeah. Mmhm//
F965 //I mean that's what, people still do that.// And then ice it, marzipan and ice it.
F963 Mm
F965 But she was very artistic, and it was always beautiful. //It was always lovely.//
F963 //Mm. Aw.//
F965 But you never knew when it was go-, if it was gonna arrive [laugh]. //It always did.//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 Always got here on time. But you didn't have it until Christmas Day.
F963 Mm mmhm.
F965 You didn't have Christmas cake //before Christmas Day.//
F963 //Yeah.// See, that was wh- something I found funny in the States, cause I sort of took it for granted that when I said "Christmas cake" people would think of a a thick fruit cake with lots of alcohol, and you know, and
F965 Marzipan and icing. //They don't do that, do they?//
M964 //No.//
F963 //Yeah, and that was, that wasn't the same, you know that// //The the whole concept wasn't the same//
F965 //They put fruit on the top, don't they?//
M964 //They do that, yeah,//
F963 //things.//
M964 //I mean there are some that are like that, those cakes are called something else, which because I haven't lived there in ten years eludes me,//
F965 //Mmhm mm//
M964 //but er//
F963 //Mm [laugh]//
M964 But yes, yeah it is a, it's a different //thing, yeah, I I never had them as a as a kid and I presumed it was because my father hated them.//
F963 //But you take it for granted that it's the same, yeah.// //[laugh]//
M964 //Then// I discovered, er quite by surprise, when we brought him a Christmas pudding, a Marks and Sparks Christmas pudding, that he loved it! And it was apparently my //mother who didn't like it.//
F963 //[tut] Oh!//
M964 [?]That was why[/?] we never had it.
F963 Yeah. //Uh-huh//
F965 //That was, that was lucky.//
M964 Yes. //Considering we were giving something that I knew he would hate.//
F965 //[laugh] [inaudible] he hated it.// //Had you ever tasted a Christmas pudding before you came here?//
F963 //[laugh]//
M964 No.
F965 Is there anything like it in America?
M964 Yes, there is, //erm,//
F965 //What's it called?//
M964 there is er erm, it's it i- it is of course, because it's a more abstemious culture in a lot of ways, it it not going to be laced with so much alcohol.
F965 //Mmhm//
F963 //Mm// //mmhm mm//
M964 //erm, it's just, what do they call it?// //I used to refer to it, yeah I used//
F963 //Fruit, fruit loaf or something like that.//
M964 to refer to it as that brick. //You know, more or less, because it wasn't it wasn't very//
F965 //Mm, oh! Was it like a cake?//
F963 //Mm. [laugh] Yeah.//
M964 It was like a cake.
F965 It'd be more like black bun, maybe.
M964 That could be.
F965 //Black bun is so dense.//
F963 //Mm//
M964 //Yes, it's very very dense.//
F965 //I kind of// //like that.//
F963 //Mm// //Mm mmhm.//
F965 //I tho- I think I like it better than Christmas pudding.// They've started f- faffing about with Christmas puddings here now; it used to be just the Christmas. And that was always made as well.
F963 Yeah.
F965 I remember my mother boiling this thing for hours and hours.
F963 Mm
F965 You know, it was made from scratch, //and it was//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 boiled, for hours, with suet and I don't know what in it.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Excuse me. And then it had to be boiled again on Christmas //Day.//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 Having been boiled before, you had to boil it again to heat it all the way through.
F963 Mm. Did you still do the wee setting on fire ritual //with it, yeah?//
F965 //Yes.// Yes, you you put brandy
F963 Mmhm
F965 brandy around it more than on top of it, I //think we poured brandy over it and set it on fire.//
F963 //Right. Mmhm.//
F965 Erm, just for the //hell of it.//
F963 //[laugh]// //mmhm//
M964 //It really sounds like you're preparing a weapon.// //Weapon [inaudible]//
F965 //[laugh] Maybe it originated//
F963 //[laugh] a small bomb.// //Yeah. [laugh]//
F965 //Maybe it started out as that.// //But of course you'd already put all your swords in the hall, you know? [laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 But it was Mrs Dunn used to make Christmas pudding. I've got a memory that might be a false memory of having an actual round clootie, //Christmas pudding.//
F963 //Mm mmhm// In a, in an actual //cloth, it was in a, done like a clootie, yeah.//
F965 //I've got a memory of that, it may be, see you used to get a dumpling//
F963 Mmhm
F965 on your birthday,
F963 Mm //[inaudible]//
F965 //instead of a birthday cake.// //A//
F963 //with things in it.//
F965 Scottish. //It might be North,//
F963 //As a [inaudible]//
F965 I don't know if they do it in the North of England, but you certainly do, did it in Scotland. //Yes, with charms//
M964 //[cough]//
F965 //in it.//
F963 //Right. Uh-huh//
F965 And, S- Sarah used to //make//
F963 //Uh-huh//
F965 a dumpling once in a while, //and she made it in//
F963 //Mm//
F965 a cloot.
F963 Right. Uh-huh
F965 So it was round; it was spherical.
F963 Mmhm
F965 And you would put, eh wrapped up in wee bits of greaseproof paper, don't know if they always did that. //[laugh] One, one, you//
F963 //[laugh] If you were careful.//
F965 noticed it before you swallowed it.
F963 Yeah.
F965 And two, it was more hygienic.
F963 Mmhm
F965 Wee silver charms,
F963 Right. Yeah.
F965 that you put into the pudding before you boiled it.
F963 I, see, I //remember somebody doing that//
M964 //Mm//
F963 when I was a child, and it mi- maybe it was just a sort of one-off //to to demonstrate.//
F965 //Mmhm, Sarah would maybe make you a dumpling.//
F963 Well, did we not have something like that at Halloween once? //Where there was//
F965 //With the,// yes, with the lucky ch- the Halloween //charm. We'd a Halloween cake.//
F963 //Yeah, [inaudible].// Well actually you can buy things like that. //Or you used to,//
F965 //With charms in it.// //The Halloween one I think//
F963 //used to be able to buy things.//
F965 m- might, I don't I don't remember that from my childhood.
F963 Well I remember getting a wee silver charm; it was a wee //silver boot.//
F965 //It would be.// //It would be a Halloween cake out of the Electric Bakery.//
F963 //You know, like, uh-huh, and// designed so that you would put it on to like a charm //bracelet, you know, it was made//
F965 //Yes, yes.// //Was it really silver?//
F963 //that way.// Er, well yeah, and it, maybe it was Sarah. //I know how it came by that.//
F965 //Quite likely hers.// I don't think you get the silver, real silver one in in //Electric Bakery, no.//
F963 //Oh no no no no. Not a s-.// //[laugh] It wasn't from the shop.//
F965 //No, she probably did that.// //She might have done it for your birthday, uh-huh.//
F963 //It was, it was somebody who'd made it, it was// I don't remember it like an annual thing that we //always did.//
F965 //No,// no, no, no. //It was it was out of [inaudible] uh-huh, and they were//
F963 //But I do remember on one occasion having this sort of charm thing embedded in a cake.//
F965 lucky you know, if you, very lucky I think if you got the silver one because there'd be a button. And they had //symbolism.//
F963 //Mm.// Right. //Mmhm//
F965 //There was some sort of// symbol to them, I can't remember. I can't remember what any of them w-, there was a horseshoe, obviously.
F963 Right. //Luck, luck things, yeah.//
F965 //Lucky, uh-huh.// I think a button's got something to do with marriage, //or//
F963 //Oh//
F965 non-marriage.
F963 Mm. //Was that a good sign to get? [laugh] Oh. [laugh]//
F965 //sewing on buttons; it might mean you're going to be a-a- an old maid or something.// I don't know.
M964 //Why would they include unlucky charms in these things?//
F963 //[laugh]// //[laugh]//
F965 //Because then the lucky ones wouldn't be so lucky if you didn't have the l-// //unlucky ones in it.//
M964 //Ah, polarity.// //[inhale]//
F965 //Yeah.// And everybody wanted, see, this was before naughtyism.
F963 Naughtyism?
F965 Where everybody has to get good //[laugh]//
M964 //Right.//
F963 //Oh [laugh]//
F965 This is where you had real contrast, [laugh] you know? //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 Hm
F963 Hm
M964 But I didn't know about this this dumpling birthday thing.
F965 That was a Scottish traditional thing. There wasn't a birthday cake. This is before my time I'm talking. //Because I always had a birthday cake.//
F963 //Mm// //Right, uh-huh, yeah.//
F965 //But in,// you know, I think Ward's family //had a dumpling//
F963 //Hm, right.//
F965 for your birthday.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 But, you know, it needed a caring family, //for a start.//
M964 //[cough]//
F965 //It needed//
F963 //Mm//
F965 somebody available to make the dumpling, //you know, that Mum//
F963 //Mm//
F965 wasn't at work, or, you know?
F963 Mmhm yeah.
M964 //But I mean wh-//
F965 //Or// extremely exhausted or whatever.
M964 Cause to me a dumpling is a is a is a small //smaller than my fist sized//
F965 //Oh yeah.// //Like you have//
M964 //thing.//
F965 with your Chinese or your
M964 Yeah. //Along that line, or chicken and dumplings is a very typical American dish.//
F965 //We have dumplings//
F963 //Mm//
F965 like that too, that you put in the stew.
M964 //Yeah.//
F963 //Yeah.//
F965 That are just flour and water and
M964 Mmhm
F965 suet.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 But er, no this was your fruit dumpling. Like a mild Christmas pudding.
F963 Mm
F965 Like a pale mild Christmas pudding.
F963 A pale shadow of a Christmas //pudding.//
F965 //Yeah, like// a-, but it had to be boiled for ages as well. And it had suet in it. And it was like, how could you describe it? Have you ever had, [laugh], excuse me. Have you ever had spotted dick? [laugh] //[laugh]//
M964 //I I have not.//
F963 //[laugh]//
M964 I have not.
F965 Well it's a bit like spotted, [laugh], no use telling you then. //It's like a fruit, a fruit pudding.//
M964 //[laugh]// //Oh I have had it actually, I tell a lie, I have had this.//
F965 //With raisins and currants and things.//
F963 //Yeah.// It's a bit lighter though, isn't it? //Lighter, lighter sort of sponge, kind of.//
F965 //Much lighter than a Christmas, much lighter than a Christmas pudding.//
F963 Yeah.
M964 //[cough]//
F965 //But quite spicy.//
F963 Uh-huh
F965 And, eh you know if it's properly made it's not too stodgy.
M964 //Mm//
F963 //Mmhm// mmhm
F965 And the the the birthday dumpling was a a thing
F963 Right. //Yeah.//
F965 //to behold.//
F963 Did you do that for New Year or //anything?//
M964 //Mm//
F965 //Never.//
F963 Any other time we've? Cause the, you've, I mean, I sort of grew up with people still taking the lump of coal, //the whisky and things like that around.//
M964 //[cough] [sniff]//
F965 //Yeah.// //Uh-huh//
F963 //But,// I don't know how much that's sort of watered down since, you know, //your day.//
F965 //I don't think they do it at all now.//
F963 Well, I don't know. But what what do you remember from your own
F965 I remember that you had, it was //unlucky//
F963 //youth?//
F965 for a woman to be a first foot.
F963 Right, uh-huh. //A tall dark, tall dark stranger.//
F965 //And, the to- top first foot. No,// //a stranger wasn't necessary.//
F963 //[laugh]//
F965 But a tall dark man
F963 Right.
F965 was tops.
F963 Was was red hair not supposed //to be lucky as well?//
F965 //Red hair's not good ever.// //[laugh]//
M964 //[laugh]//
F963 //[laugh]// That'll be the Vikings. //[laugh]//
F965 //[laugh] There are no circumstances under which red hair is good.// [laugh] No, red hair's not good.
F963 Uh-huh
F965 Erm,
F963 So a red-haired woman would be the worst possible //combination? [laugh] No coal. [laugh]//
F965 //Oh, with no coal! [laugh]// //You always had to take some- you always had some- had to have something.//
F963 //[laugh] It will be a cold winter this year.// Yeah.
F965 And a piece of coal. In fact our piece of coal's probably still in that //erm//
F963 //Right.//
F965 log box.

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Conversation 27: Mother and daughter from Ayrshire and man from USA, part 1/3 - memories, fashions and traditions. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 May 2024, from

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Information about Document 1388

Conversation 27: Mother and daughter from Ayrshire and man from USA, part 1/3 - memories, fashions and traditions


Audio audience

Adults (18+)
For gender Mixed
Audience size 3-5

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio footage information

Year of recording 2005
Recording person id 726
Size (min) 25
Size (mb) 96

Audio setting

Recording venue Private house
Geographic location of speech Prestwick

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Family members or other close relationship
Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio speaker relationships

Family members or other close relationship

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 718
Year of transcription 2006
Year material recorded 2005
Word count 5132

Audio type



Participant details

Participant id 963
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1970
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Editor
Place of birth Reading
Region of birth Berkshire
Country of birth England
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Research Chemist
Father's place of birth Ayr
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Teacher
Mother's place of birth Fyvie
Mother's region of birth Aberdeen
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
French No Yes No Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes


Participant details

Participant id 964
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1960
Educational attainment University
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Secular Jew
Occupation Researcher, barman
Place of birth Norwalk
Region of birth Connecticut
Country of birth USA
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Personnel Administrator
Father's place of birth New York
Father's region of birth New York
Father's country of birth USA
Mother's occupation none
Mother's place of birth New York
Mother's region of birth New York
Mother's country of birth USA


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Italian No Yes No Yes
Scots No Yes No Yes
Yiddish No Yes No Yes


Participant details

Participant id 965
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment College
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Teacher
Place of birth Fyvie
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Prestwick
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Doctor
Father's place of birth Lewis
Father's region of birth Western Isles
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Nurse
Mother's region of birth Argyll
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes No No Yes